NEW DELHI: Pushing for India’s Make in India initiative in defence production, defence minister Arun Jaitley has invited Russian firms to join hands with Indian companies in developing high-end military platforms and weapons systems.
Jaitley, who is on a four-day visit to Russia, held a meeting along with the 5th edition of TECHNOPROM, an annual forum focussing on innovation & tech. He addressed the forum on role of defence manufacturing in "Make in India" & potential for India-Russia partnerships within this framework.
“Russian industry and business houses can join hands with Indian companies in research and development. We are now giving significant emphasis to technology development and innovation in the defence sector. In the Defence Procurement Procedure-2016, we have streamlined the ‘Make’ procedure to encourage and incentivize design and development of defence equipment and systems. We would welcome partnerships between Indian and Russian companies in this area as well,” Jaitley told the Russian forum.
He maintained that cities such as Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad have design centres of many global defence companies. Bengaluru is fast emerging as an aerospace design hub of the world. “ Russian companies must take advantage of the large skilled manpower available in India. This would be a win-win situation for companies of both countries.”
The Union minister said, "We have initiated a series of policy and procedural changes to facilitate tie-ups, including joint ventures and technology partnerships between Indian and foreign companies.”
"Russian companies, which already have a long experience of working in India and working with India are well placed to take a leading role in this process," he said.
In a major step towards defence indigenisation, the Indian government last month unveiled a "strategic partnership" model under which select private firms will be engaged along with foreign entities to build military platforms like fighter jets, submarines and battle tanks.
"In the days to come, we hope to fully harness the energies, entrepreneurial spirit and enterprise of the private sector in the area of defence manufacturing.
"Here again, Russia as India's largest, oldest and most trusted partner in defence hardware and equipment, would have a comparative advantage in partnering with Indian companies for realising 'Make in India' potential in defence production," Jaitley said in his address at the plenary of TECHNOPROM 2017.
The defence minister said Indian companies are already gearing up by developing capabilities for design and development of military systems.
"I invite Russian companies to come forward with proposals for technology transfer to Indian companies and facilitate manufacturing of more advanced components/parts and sub-systems. This can start with platforms of Russian origin where the requirement is in large numbers and is recurring in nature," he said.
Describing Russia as a partner of choice for India in high tech and noted that both countries have great trust & confidence in each other, the Defence minister said that 2017 has been a year of great progress in India-Russia strategic partnership. There have been several exchanges at ministerial level apart from annual Summit between PM and Russia President. These exchanges reflect excellent state of current relationship, which is better today than it has ever been.